TIPS - Releasing Fish

Using proper handling and release techniques helps to improve fish survival and maintain a healthy fishery in Wawang Lake for our future generations.




 Updated:  December 3, 2015

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Tips on Releasing Fish

Here's Some Helpful Tips on Releasing Fish

Here are some tips for successful catch-and-release:


  • Reduce the time a fish is played.
  • Use a net or cradle to land the fish.


  • Keep the fish in the water as much as possible and handle the fish gently.
  • Reduce handling that removes the slimy protective coating on fish.
  • Do not squeeze or touch the gills. Grasp the fish just behind the gill covers.
  • The belly is literally cradled in the hand allowing for support to the fish’s organs and reduces excessive pressure on the head and jaw of the fish.
  • Use long-nose pliers to remove the hook quickly without tearing or injuring the fish. If the fish is hooked deeply, cut the line and leave the hook in when the fish is released.
  • Never put a fish that you may release on a stringer, use a functional live well or release the fish immediately
  • Remember that all fish kept (in a livewell, on a stringer, etc.) and not immediately released count towards your daily catch and retain or possession limit.


  • Be ready ahead of time! Take pictures quickly, minimizing the amount of time the fish is out of the water.
  • Hold the fish in a horizontal position, supporting its weight with your arm and hands. Northern Pike Catch and Release Tips)
  • Do not hold large fish in a vertical position Vertical holds have the potential to cause severe injury to the fishes internal organs.
  • Never hold any fish by its eye sockets


  • Revive the fish before letting go. Hold the fish upright in a swimming position in the water, moving the fish slowly forward and backward so water runs through the gills.
  • Ensure the fish is breathing and can swim away under its own power before it is released.
  • Consider the water temperatures when release larger fish

Northern Pike Catch and Release Tips



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